“I’d rather paint very soberly, slowly,” Erol once said. He made The Glory of the Kings after moving to Detroit to study architecture and design in the 1950s. The work pays homage to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Turkey and its surrounding regions for centuries. The thin, abstract forms at the center of the composition evoke Ottoman calligraphic and ornamental traditions. Erol’s careful attention to detail can be found in the marblelike patterns on the black figures and shapes, as well as in the layered brushwork along the picture’s outer edges.
Gallery label from 2023